If one-time write-in candidate Angela Rupert unseats Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian in the November election, it will be seen as a political upset.
But it will not be a fluke. This newspaper’s editorial board believes Rupert, an immigration and consumer attorney making her first run for public office, has the potential to be a better Assembly member for the 46th District and California than Nazarian, D-Van Nuys, who is running for a third term.
Seeing Nazarian running unopposed, Rupert jumped into the race too late for her name to appear on the June primary ballot. She received a grand total of 131 write-in votes among 51,754 cast, enough to beat out another write-in candidate and set up a Democrat vs. Democrat fight in November.
The Daily News endorsed Nazarian in his first two campaigns, praising the longtime legislative aide’s knowledge of the lawmaking process, optimism about Sacramento’s ability to solve problems, and soft-spoken, thoughtful manner.
But after four years, we aren’t seeing big results. Nazarian still sounds less comfortable with confrontation than with negotiation and equivocal positions, and satisfied with incremental victories.
When we asked Nazarian about Rupert’s criticisms of him — including her contention he has been a “back-bencher” in the Assembly rather than a leader — he bristled instead of taking advantage of a chance to set the record straight.
Asked to name his major accomplishments of his second term, Nazarian started by citiing a bill to increase funding for the California Arts Council. He is not unproductive, having done good work on earthquake preparedness, but this east San Fernando Valley district should expect more.
Rupert, a bright and animated speaker, didn’t have to work hard to take clearer positions than Nazarian on some issues. For example, she calls the bullet-train plan a “mess, unfortunately” while he talks about trying to “leverage” hesitant support for this pet project of Gov. Jerry Brown into winning state funding for local transit.
Rupert’s critics say she was put up to this race by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, who has feuded with Nazarian. Rupert’s husband is a former aide to Gatto. But Rupert, like her opponent, should be judged on her own merits.
The editorial board recommends a vote for Angela Rupert on Nov. 8. Read the full article here.